Lawsuit Filed to Save School

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STROUDSBURG -- Parents in Monroe County have gone to an extreme measure to save their school, suing the Stroudsburg Area School District.

Both sides were in court Friday morning, only a few weeks before school is set to start.

Kids walked hand-in-hand with their parents up to the Monroe County Courthouse to try to save their school.

Mother Erica McCabe and several other parents have sued Stroudsburg School District and two board members, demanding that W.H. Ramsey Elementary open this school year at an injunction hearing in county court.

"In regards to closing Ramsey and Clearview, there was no appraisals done. They did not do any feasibility studies. They did not take the time to calculate the bus routes," said PTA President Erica McCabe.

In June, students left the school for one last time. The Stroudsburg Area School Board voted to close this school and then close Clearview Elementary next year as a cost saving measure.

The debate started shouting matches at school board meetings and divides between school officials and parents.

"If you attended any of the board meetings when we were talking about the closures, it was all people in favor of keeping the schools open. It's a huge community outcry," said parent Tarah Probst.

The lawsuit claims the board not only didn't follow the proper procedure to close schools, but also violated Sunshine Laws in the process.

But school board members disagree with this lawsuit and said they did everything required to close Ramsey Elementary.

"The accusations against us personally and as a board are unfounded and unsupported," said Stroudsburg School Board vice president Bruce Stewart.

Board members said the Pennsylvania Department of Education has signed off on the closing of Ramsey Elementary.

A Centre County judge brought in to avoid conflicts continued this hearing until later this month.

School officials said that even if they are ordered to reopen the school, it could never be done before the first bell rings on August 25.

"No, no that would be very difficult to do even if the judge had ruled on it today. But clearly that's not what happened," said Stroudsburg Area School District Superintendent Dr. John Toleno.

This all returns to court August 18.

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